MINNESOTA: It’s a 400-mile, seven-hour, $100 or more journey from Maria Botker’s home in tiny Clinton to the nearest clinic where she can buy medical marijuana – the only drug that does the trick for her daughter’s rare and aggressive seizure disorder.
In addition to the medicine’s high cost, the short list of qualifying conditions and the difficulty in getting a doctor’s approval to sign up, there’s one more thing making the program difficult for Minnesota patients. Some have to come an awfully long way to get it, with only two of eight dispensaries opening since the July 1 launch.
The law doesn’t require all eight to be open until July 2016. A third location is slated to open Thursday in Rochester. A Bemidji clinic for the northeast corner of the state likely won’t be running until sometime next year.
And even after all eight facilities open, Botker and others from southwestern Minnesota will still face five-hour trips or longer.